Interviewer, Author: Youhei Ogawa Photography: Hiroyuki Yamaguchi
Pen Tablet Provided by: Wacom
Along with illustrators acting as instructors, Takuma Terashima will teach you the basics and tools involved in drawing, while doing up a color illustration in “Takuma Terashima’s Illustration Literacy,”. In its second installment, we welcome back Shirow Miwa, manga artist and illustrator to teach us more. (Part 1)
▲Here’s the line art that Terashima drew previously.
The theme, “Making Illustrations for pixiv Avatars,” left off previously with completed line art. The process now moves toward coloring... but not before the very important “shading” process.
▲Miwa’s “shading” technique in action.
Instead of applying shadows to colored parts, Miwa starts with the shading itself.
This way, not only does it cut down on coloring time by starting on the base application, but it allows for an early visualization of what the final product will look like, keeping motivation levels high.
Upon completing shading, Miwa feels like the whole illustration is already 70% complete.
Well then, let’s observe the shading process step-by-step!
When it comes to shading, “Don’t think. Feel!”
The process of adding shadows is not drawing dark areas on the picture, but is more like cutting out the parts that are hit by light.
With Miwa’s advice of “do it like the shadows in anime” we begin with the hair and face--the parts occupying the largest surface area of the picture.
▲First, create a new layer under the line art. Make the entire character gray--this will serve as the character’s shaded part.
▲ Select the “polygonal lasso tool”, and choose the parts hit by light so as to leave a shadow. Rather than erasing, it might be easier to think of it as having dug out parts of the picture.
“Shading can be thought of as the same as erasing the stray lines during inking.” It gets easier and faster along with experience. In any case, “don’t think, feel!”
Make good use of models!
Terashima starts from the hair before moving to the face, but hesitates when it comes to the hands, protruding into the foreground. It seems that the complexity of the hand makes things a bit trickier.
Miwa’s advice to Terashima on that matter...
The best way to get the hang of shading is probably looking at the real thing. Since we’re sketching portraits from actual photographs this time around, it’s best to study those photos. It’s also important to always be conscious of when and where to draw the line between the realistic and the fabricated form.
▲Move the original photo layer under the line and shading layers, we increase the transparency of the top layer to make the photo visible from underneath. At this point, creating multiple shadow layers makes it easier to create complex illustrations. However, take note to not to make it overly realistic since they are still illustrations at the end of the day.
Eraser + Gradient Brush to enhance depth!
With the challenge of shading the hand conquered, it’s time for the last step. After some fine erasing and tweaking of lines, Miwa began teaching us how to use the eraser tool to heighten the finished feel of the product.
Let’s bring the shading layer we made with the polygonal lasso tool to the next level. Use the eraser tool, and select a wide diameter with the gradient brush. Trace over the lines gently for a more rounded, softer feel.
▲Select the gradient brush with a wide diameter on the eraser tool. Trace the edges of the shading to produce more natural looking shadows.
▲Used the eraser the same way on the hair, and... look, a halo!
▲We clean up the detailed parts and unneeded areas with the eraser and brush tools, draw in the irises and pupils...and viola!
Time elapsed: 1 hour.
It was uncertain whether Terashima, through trial and error, would correctly determine the areas that required shading, but he picked up the pace halfway through as he got the hang of it!
Miwa was also surprised at how quickly he got the hang of it.
▲This is the picture in its fully shaded state. It has a much higher finished feel thanks to the added depth compared to the line art stage.
Terashima’s detailed process on video!
A part of today’s attempt at shading by Terashima is available on pixivision’s official Youtube channel!
Watch as he applies the techniques and tools that he’s learned so far
Did you enjoy it?
The drawing duo can also be seen in action on “KIKI by VOICE NewType”’s main site.
Do check out the scenes of Miwa giving advice to Terashima, plus Terashima’s determined attempt at illustration!
Ask Shirow Miwa - 3 ways to improve your skills!
[Takuma Terashima’s Illustration Literacy #3] preview!
Now that we’ve finished shading, we’re ready to color.
Next time, we’ll tackle coloring!
Terashima, who’s used to making monochrome drawings, shows some apprehension. However, we expect he’ll be a natural at coloring as he did surprisingly well with shading this time.
Follow us as we bring to you the next installment of the series as Terashima progresses in surprise at his achievements. Don’t miss it!
Pen Tablets used in this Episode
- Takuma Terashima
- Born December 20 in Ishikawa Prefecture. Affiliated with Axl One agency. Appeared in “Uta no Prince-sama” series as Otoya Ittoki, “SUPER LOVERS” as Shima Kaidou, plus many others. His 6th single “sunlight avenue” releases Wednesday, August 17, 2016.
- Shirow Miwa
- Debuted in 1999 with “BLACK MIND,” serialized in “Ultra Jump.” His “Dogs” series is ongoing, with “DOGS/BULLETS&CARNAGE” in current serialization.
- Also the illustrator for the independent music group “supercell” since 2008, designed the album jacket for their major debut single “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari,” and character designer for April 2016 anime “Kiznaiver.”